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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Rose City Comic Con 2018 - My Experiences

Another RCCC has come and gone, and I was again fortunate enough to be able to attend... albeit in a more limited capacity than I was intending. (More about that later.)

As my loyal readers know, I take it as a source of personal pride to be able to say that I have attended every single Rose City Comic Con to date. I hope this continues as with each passing year the events gets better. And I am again so appreciative that the event spans 3 days instead of just 2.

Past events I have planned a vast array of items to be signed by a variety of individuals or collect covers being donated to my non-profit, Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. Even though I was excited at the prospect of getting more of my collection signed by the likes of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Adam Hughes, I didn't go overboard like before.

My first stop of the weekend was to pick-up a copy of The Deathbringer Prophecy, vol 1: Sinners and the Sinless from #CBC4C contributing artist and friend Gene Guilmette. I always like picking-up something new to read, especially from those who have supported me and my cause to begin with. The art in this graphic novel is phenomenal, and I am greatly looking forward to reading it. I was doubly fortunate that Gene was also giving a limited print with the purchase of each of the books. You can get your own copy at RLT Press.

It took me quite a while to get into backing projects on Kickstarter, but have done a few since 2015. There have been those that have been well worth the time and money, and a few that were a dismal waste of both. Fortunately, Ron Randall's KS for Trekker: Chapeltown fell into the former category. I count myself among the Trekker supporters that has been able to collect every published piece of work, and also they are all signed by Randall. You can get your own copies of the trades on Etsy.

Not included are all the single issues and the ashcan that originally brought my attention to Trekker and Ron Randall.

I also spoke with Ron about his next Kickstarter campaign for Trekker: The Darkstar Zephyr, which is scheduled to run October 22 - November 15. I appreciate the fact that he... unlike others I have known to run KS campaigns... has everything completed for the trade before launching. This means that the turnaround from the end of the campaign to the moment you receive your rewards is very short compared to other campaigns. Yet another good reason why he'll have my continued support.

I like being able to go on Friday because there aren't nearly as many people there until later in the day. I'm able to move around freely and without bumping into others, and I feel like I can afford to speak with people at their tables without developing a crowd waiting for their face-to-face moment with the individual. Don't get me wrong. I don't think that there are a lack of people attending Friday. There are just fewer people on Friday than Saturday.

Before the doors officially opened on Friday.

Before the doors officially opened on Friday.

After the doors officially opened on Friday.

Unlike years before, I actually was able... and had the presence of mind to take photo's on the show floor this year.

This year there seemed to be more things for children. I was surprised that Playmobil actually had a presence at this years event. It makes me hopeful that RCCC will continue to thrive as a family friendly event.

DC was one of the few publishers representing themselves.

And of course, RCCC would not be complete without Dark Horse.

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that I didn't see an Image or IDW area this year. Both publishers have moved part of their business to Portland, so it would stand to reason that they would want to promote themselves at RCCC. I would hope that they think hard about this idea for next year.

Even though I am not a fan of Dragonball Z, I have to admit I did enjoy the DBZ are that they had on site. I felt in awe of the huge dragon looming over me when I came upon it. The statues were amazing to look at.

I even managed to get a couple photo's of some cosplayers.

It's been several years since I have been able to take in a panel at any comic con, but Friday was so relaxed that I found myself in the Tolkien and Gaming panel. As much as I am a fan of Tolkien, I was not nearly the level of fan that were represented at the panel. It was primarily about the Adventures of Middle Earth RPG by Cubicle 7 and discussing aspects of Tolkien's world that were are weren't represented by it. I was already interested in giving Adventures of Middle Earth a try before the panel, but after I felt the desire to do so. Something that was brought-up was the fact that Orc's in Middle Earth live until they are slain. This is because they are essentially corrupted Elves. This was discussed because someone had asked why it is that Orcs in D&D are easily slain by level 1 characters, and those of Tolkien's world have so much more depth and were actually fearsome.

When Saturday came, I actually had an agenda. My roommate had procured autographs for both David Tennant and Felica Day, and while he was in Jamaica, I agreed to get a couple of his Funko Pop figures signed. I was fortunate enough to be first in line for David Tennant.

First in line for David Tennant! So excited!

This was the view from behind me at the head of the line for David Tennant. Be jealous. :)

The product of being first in line for David Tennant. Well worth it.

I have to say, I don't find the idea of standing for a long period of time in line very appealing. Fortunately, David didn't keep us waiting very long, and his line was moving at a rapid pace.

Do you remember when I mentioned that this year I attended in a limited capacity? This is where I explain why I said that.

When the original autographs schedules were published online, David Tennant and Felicia Day were scheduled to sign at the exact same time. My plan was to get through Tennant's line as quickly as I could, and then queue-up in Felica's line. My hope would be that I could get through both quickly so I could work on the rest of what I had planned.

Before I left for Portland on Saturday, I checked the schedule online. They had pushed Felicia Day's autographs to 11am. I thought, "No problem." The closer 11am came, we received updates from staff that Felicia was either on her way or just getting parked. By 11:15am, we were informed that she was actually stuck in traffic. It wasn't until 11:33am that she made her appearance. By 12pm, I had finally gotten through the line and obtained the 2nd of the 2 autographs I had been requested to procure.

A few years back, I made special arrangements with my photographer friend Rita of {Chrysalis Rising Photographic Studio} to be my photographer for Rose City. I thought that having some professional photographs to include in my review would be wonderful. (I wasn't wrong.) This was also the year that I met Wil Wheaton, and was looking forward to taking a photo with him and the comic cover I had him sign for #CBC4C.

When we arrived at the celebrity area, one of the volunteers informed us (strongly) that there was absolutely no photography permitted in the area. I questioned that we may have permission because of the fact that we were part of the media covering the event, but was informed otherwise. No photo of Wil admiring the cover presented to him to sign. It was very disheartening.

Since then, I made sure that I and my photographer do not cross that line. I'm sure that it I was caught taking candid photo's in the celebrity area that I may get asked to leave, and I would never be allowed to attend as a member of the media. I don't want to ruin the relationship that I have built with RCCC.

This year, while waiting for Felicia Day to arrive, I noticed several people taking candid photo's with both their phones and small digital cameras. This upset me, but I am not one to create conflict so I didn't say anything. The lady in line right in front of me was actually approached by one of the volunteers when they saw her taking photo's of David Tennant. His response was "You're really not supposed to be doing that." She put her camera away until Felicia arrived. There were no repercussions and volunteer who was working the front of Felicia's line saw the lady taking photo's and did nothing.

I know that some of the celebrity guests have started to offer selfies for an additional fee, and I appreciate that. It upsets me to the core that there are those that would willfully take advantage of the fact that the volunteers can't monitor everyone and have to be on guard for people taking candid photo's where they shouldn't be. I'm not sure if I'm in the silent minority or majority on this, and I am unsure on how to prevent this from happening at future events.

I have made mention in the past of my physical limitations. Those that know me know that I am a big guy. Gabriel Iglesias classifies my physical being as "Fluffy", which I embrace the term. The standing in line for so long took it toll on my feet, legs and back. As I am writing this (4 days removed from when it began), I am sitting at my computer and my back is still tight and pained. I decided I was going to go back to my car, drop off what I didn't need any longer and take a short break.

But then... on the way to my car...

I noticed that Kelly Sue DeConnick was at her table and signing. I had brought some comics and trades from my personal collection for her to sign, and I felt the need to make sure I got them signed before going any farther. There was a short line, but it seemed like every fan before me had to relate a lengthy story to Kelly Sue. I love the fact that she's willing to talk and listen to her fans, but at that time, my entire body was telling them all to hurry-up and move along. Fortunately, my mouth stayed quiet.

By the time I got in front of Kelly Sue, I felt like I was speaking a bit of nonsense to pass the time while she kindly listened and signed my books. I didn't realize that I was babbling until after I had left her table. My body was in so much pain that it was difficult to think straight. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind enough to make it back to my car for a bit of respite.

After loading my bags into the back of my car, I decided to sit for a while to try and relax before going back in for the rest of the day. That's when my body started to revolt against me like never before.

My legs threatened to cramp as I got in to the car. Once seated, my back informed me that it had no intentions of allowing me to get out until I was safely home. I took some time to consider my options, but ultimately had to succumb to the merciless demands of my aging body.

This episode made me realize how fortunate I am to have my friends to come with me to these events. It was a huge eye-opener, and the lesson has been learned. I don't typically go to comic con's for the media guests, and I have never been a huge fan of waiting in lines... though I am a very patient person when it comes to such things when I have a mission.

At the end of last years Rose City, I said I wanted to get a table/booth for my non-profit at the 2018 event. Due to circumstances, that was not going to happen. I will renew this goal for 2019, though. By that time I hope to not only have a variety of prints to be able to offer, but also I hope to have a book of covers that have been donated to #CBC4C over the first 5 years.

I look forward to next year, no matter what happens. I want to thank the staff for being great as always, and especially Ron & Paula Brister for allowing me to attend.

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